Monday, January 3, 2011

3 January 1957 “First Electric Watch Unveiled Today, Washer-Dryer Combo, and Some Sketches”

 electric writswatch Today the Hamilton Watch Company announced the latest in modern technology, the first every battery operated electric watch. The Hamilton 500. It needs no winding either. Here the ad shows that watch battery smaller than the man’s cuff button.
Up to know watches ran on mechanisms that need to be wound, much as old clocks. The Quartz movements will not arrive until the last decade of the 1960’s. So, this is innovation. The only problem will become apparent when we find out how often the battery needs to be changed.
The Hamilton Watch Company ( Lancaster, Pennsylvania) began developing the timepiece in 1946. Here we are eleven years later and though the development is not quite complete, the pressure to beat the competition has them announcing the watch. It was popular and today these first ever electric watches command a high price. We are moving more and more towards technology as the norm. Grandfather’s old wind up pocket watch will soon retire to the bureau drawer, making way for technology.
HERE is a UK site devoted just to electric watches such as the Hamilton 500.
I am amazed that this technology exits now, here in the 1950’s. This ad comes from Better Homes and Gardens from this year, 1957.washerdryercomboadThis is a great little size combo and I would love something like this for my small kitchen. I know they make these combos now, but I wonder if I could find an old 50’s version of this, if so I’d love it! Any craigslist ads out there in the MA area, let me know.
As you may or may not know, part of my journey here in the 1950’s is going to include art and craft. After spending two years here in the 1950’s learning to cook, clean, schedule, and be an all around good little wife (Still learning though, always learning) I am ready to make my art and craft a part of my routine. In fact because of the skill of routine and planning I have learned from the 1950’s, I finally feel as if I am ready to undertake such a voyage.
So, this month’s project (which might stretch into February) is to write and illustrate a children’s book. You saw a sketch on my last post. Some of you mentioned wanting to know the process, so this really put it into my head to document that more. This way I can share the process with you and you can see smudges and smears of paint and ink turn into a finished product. Hopefully it will be of interest.
I have been greatly influenced by my times. The 1950’s is a ripe and vibrant time to be an artist. There is SO much going on from packaging and illustrative work to the modern and avant garde to Grandma Moses (Anne Mary Robertson)grandmamoses1 who was born in 1860 and is very celebrated here in the 1950’s.
I thought a children’s book a good way to segway my writing and my own late obsession with the modern free form movements of figural work used in children’s books and advertising of the times.
sketches2 So, for what they are worth, here are some of what I worked on today. These are simply water color washes on paper with some pastel over and water added. Then a simple pastel sketches to get some ideas. sketches3 Here is a close up of one of the two figures. You can see, a very basic outline on paper. I will show more tomorrow on some of the next layers. Now, is this too much information? I wasn’t sure if you would be interested in the very rough sketchy beginning stages of what will become a finished page in a book. The features may change, the stance all of that, but this is how I have been starting out.
motherstudy1 Here is a rough up of the mother. I have many versions of her and not sure how she will turn out. This was a rough pencil and some dry brush and marker, then scanned and some computer work. Again, this is just a sketch, please do not think these are in any way final pieces, so do be kind there.
I hope all are enjoying their new year so far and keeping up with their resolutions.
Happy Homemaking.
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